Reality v. Democrats’ Israel Debate

Last week, the split within the Democratic Party was put on display during the debate in Brooklyn between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton. Given his well-known critical views, Sanders’ full-throated attack against Prime Minister Netanyahu, as well as his re-floating of the smear that Israeli Defense Forces’ efforts to suppress missile fire and terror tunnels from Hamas terrorists in Gaza were “disproportionate,” to say nothing of his statement blaming the continuation of the conflict on Israel rather than, as Clinton pointed, squarely on the Palestinians where it belongs, was hardly surprising. But his willingness to go on the offensive against the pro-Israel community in this way just days before the New York primary illustrated his belief that the liberal base of the party — and a vocal left-wing minority of Jews — agree with him. The problem with his stands though — and that of many in his party as well as the Obama administration — is that they are not so much at variance with Clinton’s beliefs as they are with the reality of the Middle East, as a series of recent events, including today’s Jerusalem bus bombing, illustrate.

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Reality v. Democrats’ Israel Debate

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‘They Got Us’

The tipping point.

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After Charlottesville, What’s Next?

An eternal hatred.

When Shabbat services concluded at Beth Israel in Charlottesville, VA, last Saturday, Alan Zimmerman, president of the congregation, “advised congregants that it would be safer to leave the temple through the back entrance rather than through the front, and to please go in groups.”

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Explaining the Inexplicable

Podcast: The Trump presser and Bannon's bizarre interview.

In the second of this week’s COMMENTARY podcasts, the hosts try to wrap their heads around a series of events that defy logic. Why would Donald Trump try to rehabilitate people who align themselves with torch-lit rally-goers chanting racist slogans? Why would the left go to the mattresses to defend their own violent elements? And what the heck is Steve Bannon thinking in general? And does the country now share our crushing morosity? Give a listen and find out.

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When ‘Freethinkers’ Persecute the Faithful

Soft totalitarianism.

The State Department on Tuesday released its annual International Religious Freedom Report, and the grim upshot was that people of faith face persecution around the globe. This year’s report, the first under President Trump, called out usual suspects such as China, Iran, North Korea, and Saudi Arabia. It also notably used the “G” word–genocide–to describe Islamic State’s crimes against Christians, Yezidis, and other religious minorities in Syria and Iraq.

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What Trump Voters Heard

What Trump supporters heard on Tuesday.

When the president of the United States passed on his third opportunity to condemn unequivocally and without caveats Nazi sympathizers marching in his name, John Podhoretz dubbed it “one of the most disheartening facts of my lifetime.” This gut wrenching display of wounded, bitter petulance turned the stomachs of observers on all sides of the political aisle, and it has catalyzed the most concerted backlash to Trump among Republican lawmakers since the “Access Hollywood” tape. For cynical Trump critics, though, this is all posturing. They await deliverance from the age of Trump. They know that hinges on GOP lawmakers turning on their own president—an extraordinary prospect—and that won’t happen until Republican voters have had enough. The cynics are right. This will not break Trump’s base.

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